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Couple forms foundation to provide day camp for children with autism


A Kippens couple has formed Hope For Ryan Incorporated, a foundation responding to the large number of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and other intellectual disabilities.

Debbie Brake-Patten and her husband Dave Patten said the foundation was inspired by one child, Ryan Downey, who was criticized for riding his specialized bike on the streets of Kippens. As residents of Kippens, Debbie and Dave recognized Ryan and others need support.

The increase in prevalence of autism in Newfoundland and Labrador is outlined in the Canadian Medical Association Journal in July 2015. More and more parents have to cope with their child being diagnosed with this life-long disorder.

The Pattens want to help, especially after attending Killdevil Camp — a day camp for autistic children on the Northern Peninsula —  this past summer.  During their stay, they volunteered to operate the canoeing portion as licensed guides and quickly discovered the challenges faced by parents of children with the disorder.

Debbie said parents indicated they didn’t want to be away from their child, but wanted more things to do geared toward their child’s needs.

Parents were interested in a day camp on the west coast located between Corner Brook and Port aux Basques, which would also serve the Port au Port Peninsula, Burgeo and Ramea.

After discussing the idea, then having exposure to families affected by autism spectrum disorder, Debbie and Dave decided to move towards opening a day camp in St. Fintan’s. The couple has a large parcel of land in St. Fintan’s, which runs adjacent to the Trans-Canada Trail. They also own a large cabin in Robinsons and a remote cottage on Camp 180 Road, which could be used for day excursions.

Hope For Ryan Incorporated will raise funds to help open the day camp. Debbie said the name of the facility will be Camp Evergreen.

“Our hope is to have the camp officially opened for the summer of 2017, but there is an even larger focus to eventually expand to a year-round facility and use the existing businesses in the area for overnight stays and camping,” Debbie said.

She said the camp will be operated as not-for-profit as any money collected will go back into the business.

Camp Evergreen proposed activities

- Petting zoo

- Horse-back rides

- Nature walks

- Vegetable garden

- Bird watching

- Fish pond

- Berry picking

- All-terrain vehicle and side-by-side tours

- Educational activities on Newfoundland and Labrador culture and heritage

- Large pavilion to hold outdoor events

- Picnic area

 

Hope For Ryan project fundraising

- Personal donations

- Guided tours

- Guiding of hunters and anglers

- Dances

- Bake sales

- Women wellness weekends

- Diet and nutrition seminars

- Weekend excursions

 

 

Debbie Brake-Patten and her husband Dave Patten said the foundation was inspired by one child, Ryan Downey, who was criticized for riding his specialized bike on the streets of Kippens. As residents of Kippens, Debbie and Dave recognized Ryan and others need support.

The increase in prevalence of autism in Newfoundland and Labrador is outlined in the Canadian Medical Association Journal in July 2015. More and more parents have to cope with their child being diagnosed with this life-long disorder.

The Pattens want to help, especially after attending Killdevil Camp — a day camp for autistic children on the Northern Peninsula —  this past summer.  During their stay, they volunteered to operate the canoeing portion as licensed guides and quickly discovered the challenges faced by parents of children with the disorder.

Debbie said parents indicated they didn’t want to be away from their child, but wanted more things to do geared toward their child’s needs.

Parents were interested in a day camp on the west coast located between Corner Brook and Port aux Basques, which would also serve the Port au Port Peninsula, Burgeo and Ramea.

After discussing the idea, then having exposure to families affected by autism spectrum disorder, Debbie and Dave decided to move towards opening a day camp in St. Fintan’s. The couple has a large parcel of land in St. Fintan’s, which runs adjacent to the Trans-Canada Trail. They also own a large cabin in Robinsons and a remote cottage on Camp 180 Road, which could be used for day excursions.

Hope For Ryan Incorporated will raise funds to help open the day camp. Debbie said the name of the facility will be Camp Evergreen.

“Our hope is to have the camp officially opened for the summer of 2017, but there is an even larger focus to eventually expand to a year-round facility and use the existing businesses in the area for overnight stays and camping,” Debbie said.

She said the camp will be operated as not-for-profit as any money collected will go back into the business.

Camp Evergreen proposed activities

- Petting zoo

- Horse-back rides

- Nature walks

- Vegetable garden

- Bird watching

- Fish pond

- Berry picking

- All-terrain vehicle and side-by-side tours

- Educational activities on Newfoundland and Labrador culture and heritage

- Large pavilion to hold outdoor events

- Picnic area

 

Hope For Ryan project fundraising

- Personal donations

- Guided tours

- Guiding of hunters and anglers

- Dances

- Bake sales

- Women wellness weekends

- Diet and nutrition seminars

- Weekend excursions

 

 

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